Recap: Holiday Baking Championship 2.8 "Holiday Hoopla"

Dec 21, 2015 by Sarah Moffatt

When I get invested in reality competition shows, it’s very rare my favorite contestant makes it to the finale let alone 3 of my favorites! This was the first time in my personal TV history I would have been sincerely happy for whomever won.

On the season finale of season 2 of Holiday Baking Championshion, the final three bakers – Maeve, Steve and Adalberto – were put to the test to create their most delicious and beautiful work yet.

In the pre-heat, the bakers were asked to create two dozen cookies to hang like ornaments from a tree.

Steve created orange-vanilla bean sugar cookie stars decorated with white and gold icing. Up close, the stars were beautiful and incredibly detailed, but from a distance –aka where the judges judge... Read More

Recap: Holiday Baking Championship 2.7 "Re-Gifting"

Dec 14, 2015 by Sarah Moffatt

Normally, the practice of re-gifting – taking a gift one has received but doesn’t like and gifting it to someone else – is generally frowned upon in polite circles. But when it comes to the Holiday Baking Championship, it’s an inventive way to challenge our final four bakers, who this week were given the task of re-purposing ingredients for both challenges, starting with a candied apple.

Adalberto picked an apple covered in white chocolate and dried cherries, and made a beautiful apple frangipane tart accompanied by a cherry and a glaze. It was a really pretty plate – not the prettiest in this round, but apparently the tastiest, as he won the advantage heading into the main heat challenge.

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For the main heat, the... Read More

Recap: Holiday Baking Championship 2.6 "World Class Classics"

Dec 07, 2015 by Sarah Moffatt

I really appreciate that the Holiday Baking Championship hasn’t just limited itself to Christmas holiday traditions; we’ve also seen Thanksgiving and now Hanukkah classics, too.

This week, the bakers were given 75 minutes to put their own modern spin on Jewish traditions like coconut macaroons and rugelach. Rugelach usually has a combination of cinnamon, walnut, apricot, or chocolate, so naturally the bakers were not allowed to use any of those in their new creations.

Sweet, sweet Haley put a southern twist on the traditional cookie by making a honey, pecan and brown sugar rugelach, similar to a baklava. For her macaroon, she made these beautiful chocolate and pistachio coconut macaroons with the bottoms dipped in chocolate and chopped pistachio. Her desserts were clearly the most beautiful, and the judges seemed... Read More

Recap: Holiday Baking Championship 2.5 "Ginger and Spice and Everything Nice"

Dec 01, 2015 by Sarah Moffatt

For this week’s pre-heat challenge, the remaining six contestants were asked to integrate the tricky, tricky flavor of candied ginger into mini-desserts. Though it sounds simple enough, candied ginger is a fickle ingredient; it can be too strong or not strong enough very easily, so it’s important and difficult to find the perfect balance.

Every single person struggled to make the ginger stand out in their dessert, except for Steve.

Steve made a rather boring and plain-looking gingersnap ice cream sandwich with an otherwise forgettable ginger-vanilla ice cream filling. But unlike all the other desserts, the judges could taste the ginger in Steve’s, so he won a 10-minute head start going into the main heat challenge.

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For the main heat, the contestants were given 90 minutes... Read More

Recap: Holiday Baking Championship 2.4 "Thanksgiving's Just Around The Corner"

Nov 23, 2015 by Sarah Moffatt

For the pre-heat challenge, the remaining 7 bakers were given an hour to transform canned cranberry into a delicious dessert. I think canned cranberry is super tart and just not very good to begin with, so I was interested yet skeptical of how this round of baking would go.

The cranberry dessert that stood out most to me was Maeve’s bacon, cranberry and rosemary bread pudding. I don’t need to try it to know it’s probably amazing. I mean, it has bacon! Aesthetically, it was beautifully composed and I really loved the touch of green with the natural rosemary on the plate.

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The worst-looking was by far Briana’s walnut, maple, cranberry “deconstructed” tart. The tart crust crumbled when she tried to pop them out of the... Read More

Holiday Baking Championship: 2.2 "Holiday Craftiness"

Nov 09, 2015 by Sarah Moffatt

After Joe was sent home last week for searching an under-baked apple pie, the remaining bakers were on edge as they listened to the details of the next obstacle between them and $50,000.

In the pre-heat, the bakers were asked to create a delicious dessert featuring one main ingredient: Candy canes. Sounds easy enough, right? Apparently not.

Poor Melody struggled through this challenge. Lucky for her it was not an elimination round. She changed her dessert from a creme brulée to a chocolate lava cupcake with just 20 minutes left, and it ended up looking like a melted mess.

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Susan the bed & breakfast owner knocked it out of the park once again with a cute Santa hat peppermint scone dipped in white chocolate... Read More

Recap: Holiday Baking Championship 2.1 "We're Nuts For The Holidays"

Nov 03, 2015 by Sarah Moffatt

‘Tis the season for family, presents, cookies, cakes, and Food Network’s Holiday Baking Championship. In the second season premiere, we met nine self-taught, professional, and classically trained bakers on the quest to be named the Holiday Baking Champion and a prize of $50,000.

As in the recently concluded Halloween Baking Championship, bakers are given two chances to prove themselves: the pre-heat and the main-heat challenges. During the pre-heat the bakers are given simple requests to create a dessert within the allotted time. The winner of these challenges earns an advantage during the main heat challenge. During main heats, the bakers are given a more complex task and more time to keep themselves from elimination.

In this first pre-heat challenge, the bakers were asked to create any dessert they’d like as... Read More

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